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Symphonic Shakespeare

October 19 at 8:00 pm

The Akron Symphony Orchestra will explore music from the film adaptations of two of Shakespeare's greatest works - Hamlet and Henry V - along with a dramatic piece from acclaimed composer Ethel Smyth.

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Symphonic Shakespeare


October 19
8:00 pm
Event Category:


E.J. Thomas Hall
198 Hill Street
Akron,OH44325United States
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Ethel Smyth – highly acclaimed in the early 20th century – opens her opera The Wreckers with high drama, depicting a murderous seacoast community in Scotland. Shostakovich may have found in Shakespeare’s Hamlet a mirror of his own personal turmoil. Walton’s music for Henry V, starring and directed by Laurence Olivier, is itself a starring feature of this glorious film.

Christopher Wilkins, conductor
Akron Symphony Chorus

Smyth The Wreckers Overture
Shostakovich Hamlet Film Suite
Walton Henry V: A Shakespeare Scenario

Single tickets for this performance go on sale August 1. Classic Series Subscriptions and Flex Subscriptions are on sale now. All ticket sales are final.

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Did You Know?

Along with his score to Kozintsev’s King Lear (1970), Shostakovich’s score to Kozintsev’s Hamlet (1963-64) is commonly said to be the best of his film scores. The intensity of mood, the concentration of its effect, and the originality of the themes elevate the score far beyond the music for the many propaganda films Shostakovich scored in the late 1930s and again in the late 1940s and early 1950s. But it is the overall integrity and sincerity of the music that elevate the Hamlet music to the highest levels of Shostakovich’s art. (Source: allmusic.com)

Ethel Smyth was a 20th-century British composer and a champion of women’s rights and female musicians. During her lifetime, she composed symphonies, choral works (musical pieces written for a choir), and operas including The Wreckers (1906), and is most well known for The March of Women, an anthem for the women’s suffrage movement. In 1922, she was named a Dame of the British Empire. (Source: Brooklyn Museum)

Composer William Walton created the soundtrack for three films starring Laurence Olivier: Henry V, Hamlet and Richard III. Walton also composed Crown Imperial for the 1937 coronation of England’s King George VI. (Source: The NPR Listener’s Encyclopedia of Classical Music

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